How to advance your career in 2024

Is a promotion or new job on your radar for 2024? No matter what you’re looking to achieve, you need to ensure you’re progressing in a way that will help you realise your long-term career goals.  
Here are our top tips to help your career advancement in 2024.

Start preparing to achieve your career goals

It’s never too early to start preparing, and with the current market still facing skills shortages, your next opportunity could be just around the corner. Don’t wait around until you’re ready for a change, start preparing now in order to achieve your professional goals. 
Before jumping into your job search journey, start by considering where you’d like your career to be in five years. Once you’ve identified your goal, you can focus on what steps to take and what skills you might need to get there.

Set career goals and check in

To help you identify your goals and support your career progress, you can download our planner to help define which direction you want your career path to take. Once you’ve been able to define your dream job, you can establish an action plan that will help you get there. Checking in on your career consistently will help as well. At least twice a year, check in and see if your goals are still relevant to what you want, and if what you’re doing right now is supporting your future career ambitions.

Sell all your skills

In response to continued skills shortages, employers are open to transferrable skills and re-establishing what capabilities are essential in a role and what are desirable. In return, they want to know you can be trusted to produce results. So, add success metrics and examples to your resume and online professional profile as proof that you can deliver. When preparing for an interview, practice articulating your quantifiable results in your answers to common interview questions.  
One simple trick is to use verbs to bring your successes front and centre in your resume. For example, instead of writing that you managed a team, try “directed”, “united” or “motivated”. 
Skill clusters are an another way that you can identify what skills you have, and the power that they can have beyond experience, qualifications and job titles. For example, if you work in customer service, providing guest services is one of your skills clusters. There are specialist tasks under this cluster that can then be linked to other occupations they may apply to, opening up a range of pathways that can take your career in different direction. For instance, the specialist task of arranging services or reservations could apply to a hotel service manager or sales assistant.

Know your worth

It’s exciting to start mapping out your career progression, but it’s important to critically consider your value and in turn, the value you offer any organisation you might work for. Take notes of any gaps you might leave at an organisation if you were to leave and use that to detail your skills and achievements. Knowing your value means you’ll have a better idea if you’re ready to take the next step in your career.

Refine your focus

Are you finding that you’re sending out a plenty of applications and not getting any call backs? It might be time to refine your approach, instead of casting too wide of a net. Start by thinking about what actually aligns to your interests and only focusing on applying for roles that meet your criteria, this will help you to sell your skills and strengths better. Limiting the number of applications you send will also allow you to spend more time on each cover letter and resume to help you stand out more to hiring managers.

Build your network

Being able to build your network is one of the key aspects to helping accelerate your career. Contacts can offer opportunities to you that may help you get ahead of the competition, or they can provide insight and advice on a particular role or career path before you apply. Start seeking out networking opportunities, connect with recruiters, join a professional association and update your LinkedIn profile.

Don’t do it just for the money

Making major life changes, such as getting a new job, purely for the money can lead to unsatisfying outcomes. Also be wary of mentioning salary too soon in any job consideration process, employers can get concerned about long-term retention potential if salary is their primary motivator. Instead, wait for an offer to be made, which puts you in a stronger negotiating position than if you raise the topic too early.  
When it does come time to negotiate, don’t price yourself out of consideration. Consult our Salary Guide or Salary Checker to ensure your expectations are aligned with market rates rather than a figure you believe your skills warrant. This also allows you to be confident if you need to negotiate a salary offer. Carefully consider the career progression opportunities and learning and development on offer in the context of your long-term career goals, too. If a job comes with regular upskilling, for instance, it can future-proof your employability and may be of greater financial benefit in the long term.

Upskill your technical, soft and digital skills

Your skills are your most valuable commodity in the jobs market so regularly upskill to stay ahead of the competition. Focus on acquiring new technical skills, but don’t neglect your soft and interpersonal skills – soft skills are becoming almost as sought-after as technical skills in the current world of work. Conduct an audit to identify any gaps. Add new skills to your CV and professional profiles as you master them. 
If you are looking to improve your skills, Hays Learning, our online learning platform, allows you to upskill anytime and anywhere. With Hays Learning, you can access thousands of free courses just by signing up.

Look for stretch opportunities

Another way to help advance your career is seeking out stretch opportunities at your current work. These are tasks or projects that sit slightly above your skill level, that offer you career advancement opportunities by stepping outside of your comfort zone. Not only do you become more valued in the company with your skills growth, but you will also have additional skills that set you apart in the job market.

Be adaptable to change

In today’s business landscape, it’s become even more important for organisations to be able to pivot quickly and remain agile, and employees need to be ready to adapt with changes. Change readiness is a valuable skill, so learn to adapt to change, drive innovation, adopt new technology, think about things differently and implement best practice. By building on your ability to respond quickly and positively to change, you’ll help your career success.

How to advance your career in 2024

By taking charge of your career again and dedicating time, hard work and interest in career planning, you'll gain an advantage in finding a role that will allow you to achieve your career goals and advance your professional development in the new year and into the future. 
Remember to search our available jobs or explore our career advice hub for more tips. Good luck.  

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